This is our camping season. And for those of you who have followed us for awhile, you know that one of our favorite trips is Lone Peak. The have been several memorable moments on our trips. The first year (2008-Parker was just 7!) was the we-ran-out-of-matches-before-we-could-start-a-fire-and-boy-were-we-glad-we-brought-the-emergency-magnesium-fire-starter year. It was also the year I had to alternate carrying the boys' packs on one of my arms 'cuz they just couldn't do it on their own. And it was the infamous, "I think I saw a bear!" year. (We do take a can of bear spray with us each time we go, although we've never had the occasion to use it.) The second year was the never-drop-your-sleeping-bag-over-the-edge-of-a-cliff year. This experience prompted my development of the oft-quoted first law of camping: "Don't be stupid!" (Christi is not a huge fan of this law, but Taylor, Parker and I just see the simple brilliance in it:) The third year was the Dad-left-his-money-clip-at-home-and-now-we-can't-buy-some-of-the-snacks-we-were-going-to-get year. And the fourth year was the we-finally-made-it-down-the-mountain-but-dad-locked-the-keys-in-the-car-and-his-cellphone-is-dead year. Fortunately, that was the one time Christi couldn't make it, so she drove the 30 miles to bring us a spare set of keys. Despite the challenging moments, each time we go, the experience is amazing and the views are spectacular.
This past weekend we went again. It was a fantastic trip. We started up the trail around 5pm on Friday:
Yes, that is a loaf of french bread on top of Parker's backpack. On our very first trip we stopped at Smith's to get some snacks. Christi suggested we get some french bread to bring along. I admit I ridiculed her a bit for attaching a loaf of bread to her backpack, but after toasting it by the fire that night, we were all sold, and that loaf of french bread has been on the menu every trip since.
In the parking lot we met another hiker who was heading up. We're not exactly speed-hikers, so we figured he might beat us up there. I asked where he was planning to camp. He said it was a secluded spot above the waterfall. Our hearts sank as we thought he might take our campsite. Christi quickly said, "Sounds like the same place we're headed to. I guess we can camp together." Smart girl. This guy obviously wanted to be up there by himself. We saw him at the top, but he stayed away from "our spot." This year in addition to the usual mango, jerky and starbursts, I packed each of us a bag of grapes and a bag of carrots to keep us going. Loved the grapes. Great hiking food.
We made a few stops on the way up and then the boys enjoyed the views from our lookout rock:
The sunset that night was spectacular:
On the way back down, we always try to stop at horsetail falls. Many people come up the trail part of the way and get to a viewpoint where this waterfall is visible. It's beautiful, but these people are really missing out by not going all the way there. When I first visited the falls back in college, the friend who took us there only knew one way to get there. We had to bushwhack through some pretty steep and overgrown terrain. But the falls was absolutely worth it. A couple of years ago, we found a relatively easy trail and now make it there without any troubles. The water is very, very cold, but we are very, very brave, hence:
Now Christi, on the other hand, was not so brave. She delicately dipped her toes in the water, adamantly refused to sit in the waterfall. We coaxed and cajoled, but to no avail. Then I had a brainstorm. We promised her that we would each make dinner for two nights if she would go in. It took her no time at all to agree to that deal: